TENDER Healthcare Linking Patients with Healthcare Providers Online


Toby Longhurst: Hello and welcome to Health
Professional Radio. My name is Toby Longhurst and joining me in
conversation is Dr. Myles Holt. Dr. Holt is the Head Trainer of the Australasian
Academy of Dento-Facial Aesthetics and he’s also the founder of an exciting new service
called Tender Healthcare. Dr. Holt, welcome to the program. Dr Myles Holt: Thanks very much Toby, good
to be here. Toby: Our pleasure. Before we get into all of the exciting things
you’re doing, perhaps we could start a little bit about your background. What’s the Dr. Holt story? Dr Holt: Sure thing. So I guess I consider myself a bit of a healthcare
entrepreneur, having founded the Australasian Academy of Dento-Facial Aesthetics and more
recently founding Tender Healthcare. However, by profession I’m actually a dentist
and I actually think it’s probably that experience working globally
in that primary healthcare role – for the last 20 years, I’ve worked across Australasia
Europe in the Middle East and that’s given me obviously insight into developing platforms
that would overcome some of the traditional barriers that I’ve seen in healthcare delivery
both for patients and for providers and improving the healthcare system. And I think that’s where things like Tender
Healthcare came from. Toby: Having worked all around the world,
every country has different healthcare systems, how would you rate Australia’s healthcare
system at the moment compared on an international scale? Dr Holt: Yeah, I think anybody that works
in the earth care industry and even patients if they
really stop to think about it would realise just how lucky we are in Australia with the
healthcare industry, both in terms of quality, in terms of education and training, regulation
and also just the cost of it as well. While we tend to think that healthcare is
expensive, and it is, we are still very lucky in this part of the world. Toby: Now technology is always changing things
and these great systems can be improved. You’ve identified some areas that you think
can be improved with your new service called Tender Healthcare, what is it? How does it work? Dr Holt: Yeah, so Tender Healthcare is a new
online platform that’s available in Australia and it
essentially helps to bridge the gap between patients and providers of healthcare and it
does that by breaking down traditional barriers that are geographical barriers and it moves
the interactions online. So essentially Tender Healthcare empowers
patients to better manage their own healthcare need while creating the exciting new opportunity
for providers to deliver care in a unique way. Toby: So if I’m looking for a provider, what’s
your service going to do for me? What do I need to do and what do I get? Dr Holt: Sure, so it’s brilliantly simple. Patients post cases onto the Tender Healthcare
platform which outline their healthcare need and providers will then be notified that a
case that’s available in their category. They go online and they tender and offer for
care, hence the name, and patients will then assess the options are presented to them and
select the best offer that represents quality affordable healthcare that fits in with what
they’re seeking. Toby: Sure. Healthcare is a pretty broad area. What type of services do you think are you
aiming for with this service? Dr Holt: Yeah, the Tender Healthcare has been
designed to cater to a broad spectrum of services so we have everything from laser vision correction
through to dentistry, cosmetic surgery, hip and knee replacements all the way up to cardiothoracic
surgery. We’ve seem to see that the cases that are
presented tend to be obviously the larger ticket items, the things that
require patients to also put a bit more thought into it. So I wouldn’t consider that a patient would
post the need for a massage or a facial or something like that onto the site. It’s something where
they really need to assess multiple second opinions, different treatment options and
then make an informed decision. Toby: I think it’s a great service. Are there any provisions or things to prevent
people who actually need urgent medical care that they should be going to see someone straight
away, not trying to try and save a dollar here or there? Are there any provisions for the types of
services that are available? Dr Holt: Absolutely and that’s the warning
or the suggestion we put all over the Tender Healthcare site that if it’s an emergency
procedure, then obviously we have emergency systems in place so a triple O system and
our emergency departments, Hospital are the go to places. These are really for services where you do
have a little bit of time to sit down and think about it and research is consistently
showing us that we achieve better healthcare outcomes for patients
when they have a number of second opinions and different treatment options available
to them and they can sit down and assess that so it’s certainly not an emergency service
but by the same token I note that you mentioned saving a few dollars there, it’s certainly
not a system that’s purely based on cost and I think that’s where people, certainly providers,
can get a little bit misled thinking that “Oh perhaps this is just a cost comparison
website.” And nothing could be further from the truth. In the cases that we’ve seen on the Tender
Healthcare site, I guess in a way it did surprise us as much as anybody that patients don’t
always go for the cheapest option that’s presented. They do spend a bit of time trying to find
something that fits in line with the quality that they’re wanting as well as an
affordable solution. Toby: Successful businesses these days often
seem to strategize to be industry disruptors. Do
you see yourself as a disruptor of the healthcare industry? Dr Holt: I really don’t. I guess the term ‘entrepreneur’ or doing
things like this tend to put you into that category but my very nature of being a dentist,
we’re very conservative people by training and by profession. And as a healthcare professional, obviously
I’m more concerned with the outcomes for my patients but what I tend to find and what
I guess is frustrating a little bit is that the healthcare industry in general
seems to be slow on the uptake of some new service delivery models particularly anything
that has ‘online’ attached to it, but ultimately could just
better service their patients and their businesses and we tend to see it as disruption rather
than being a great opportunity for everybody involved in healthcare. Toby: It’s really a great opportunity for
patients to be able to get comparison. What about from the healthcare provider end,
why should I sign up? What’s in it for me? Dr Holt: Yeah, so Toby when I was mentioning
about geographical barriers, that’s applied to
patients and providers consistently. So obviously for patients, we know they should
get second opinions and treatment options but that’s easier said than done. We’re all very busy and to have to run around
physically to multiple second opinion appointments for the same problem, not only is it costly
but it’s very time-consuming. But by the same token, providers have been
limited geographically as well so we choose a location to set up our practice in and that
really does lock us into the local catchment area of really whoever works or lives nearby
and that puts a restriction on the number of people that we can cater to. So by suddenly opening up the field and being
able to consult online with people across town or across the country, it helps us to
expand and grow our business beyond that local catchment area. So it provides a unique opportunity, a growth
of a provider’s business. Toby: You mentioned saving time, how long
do you expect a typical tender process to take? Dr Holt: So it does depend on the complexity
of the case and really one of the things we’ve seen is it depends on how much information
patients provide upfront. So as I said, the process
involves patients posting their case initially and as part of that, they can post x-rays,
treatment plans they’ve already gotten, test results, whatever files and records including
medical history they need to add but if they don’t provide enough, then sometimes providers
will want a little bit more before they feel confident to offer a solution or an alternative. And there is the ability to have a bit of
back and forward dialogue through the site. I would say, typically a case could take anywhere
from 24 hours to a few days. Toby: You mentioned that it depends on what
the patient posts. From your end, from the Tender Healthcare
end – are you providing them with any type of guidelines and helpful hints because a
lot of the time I imagine the patient don’t know exactly what they want or what they need. Dr Holt: Absolutely. So yeah, through the case posting process
we do have little hints and tips and suggestions on how to really maximize the benefit or the
patient and just to make life easier for the providers as well. So being a provider healthcare myself, I know
how restrictive it is to not have the information that you need so we definitely encourage and
guide them on what kinds of things that they can include and the common things that they’ll
need to consider. But as I said, there’s also that dialogue
that’s able happen so if a provider did find that there was something specific or
a question they wanted to ask, there is the ability to ask that back and forward before
actually offering and be kind of tender for the case. Toby: Now you mentioned money and the price
wasn’t always the number one factor, but it is an important one. To use this service under other any fees involved? What type of fees are we looking at? Dr Holt: No, so it’s a free service for patients
which is one of the attractive things. And for providers, it really represents kind
of a low cost focused marketing spend. So it’s got an annual membership fee of a
few hundred dollars, so it’s not large by comparison to what practices
usually spend to recruit patients, sort of find new patients. And as I said, it’s a focus spend provided
because you know that the people on this service are actively seeking the treatment
you’re providing. But it’s not all about cost so patient space
different value on different things and certainly when you think it, for example of somebody
who might be in a country or a rural area and they don’t have access to a lot of specialty
care around them and yet they don’t know who to go to and they can’t easily find something. Now that you can post this case online and
there may be somebody in the next town or they would be willing to travel to the capital
city to find somebody who gives a specialized care they can access. We did some recent market research and 79
percent of Australians said they’d be willing to travel outside their local area to access
better quality, more affordable care so it’s a really interesting scenario we’re seeing. Toby: Sure. And what’s the state of the service at the
moment, is it something that’s up and running now or it’s coming soon, almost ready? Dr Holt: It’s coming soon so at the moment
we’re actively looking for providers who are interested in providing solutions to care
for patients and we’ve got patients literally beating down the door to find new solutions
for healthcare so we are launching in a few weeks times. So at the moment we’ve gone through quite
a few test cases to perfect the system but we’re launching nationwide within the next
few weeks. Toby: And how can other healthcare providers
get involved if they think that this is something that they’re interested in pursuing? Dr Holt: Sure so they can go to our website
which is www.tenderhc.com and there’s a whole of
information outlining the benefits and what’s required and they can also register directly
online as well. Toby: Excellent and what was the name of the
website again? Dr Holt: It’s tenderhc.com Toby: Well Dr Holt we’re quickly running out
of time, but thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been very informative. Dr Holt: Thanks so much for your time. Toby: Our pleasure. Now if you’ve just joined us on Health Professional
Radio, you’ve just missed my conversation with Dr. Myles Holt about some exciting new
ways for patients to be able to connect with healthcare professionals. The good news is that you can find this interview
in full, along with all of our other interviews at our website healthprofessionalradiocom.au
or hpr.fm. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram
SoundCloud iTunes Pinterest Twitter and LinkedIn. my name is Toby Longhurst and you’ve been
joining us on Health Professional Radio.

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